tv The Last Word MSNBC March 13, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
as if you couldn't love american samoa any more than you ever do. msnbc's coverage of the republican presidential primaries continues next with ed schultz and "the ed show." have a great night. good evening, this is msnbc special coverage of the republican primary elections in both mississippi and alabama here on a live edition of "the ed show" tonight on msnbc. nbc news projects rick santorum as the winner of the alabama republican primary. in mississippi, nbc news has now called the race for rick santorum. this is a major victory for rick santorum and major defeat for mitt romney and newt gingrich. hours ago they were saying santorum's campaign was running on fumes. >> the reagan tradition of visionary conservatism is based on proverbs and the very deep belief that without vision the people perish.
i believe we need a visionary leader who is prepared to talk about a dramatically better future with dramatically more jobs, dramatically more energy and a much safer and stronger america. i think that's the key to winning this fall. not all this petty baloney, but the really big choices. and as i went around both states talking about $2.50 gasoline, having all sorts of folks in the elite media say, oh, that's not possible, then finally on saturday in "the wall street journal," jennings wrote a piece entitled "newt gingrich is right about gasoline." he walked through step by step why it was possible. and the fact is, it is very possible. and then yesterday steven moore reported in "the wall street journal" -- these numbers are so amazing and i think the fact i'm willing to talk about substance is what makes this campaign different from other campaigns and is the reason we're going to go all the way to tampa to
compete for the nomination. we need at a time of great problems great solutions and great solutions require substance. and substance requires actually knowing something. it's a very important part of this. unfortunately, virtually everything president obama knows is wrong. ronald reagan used to say, "it isn't what they don't know that's so frightening, it's what they know that's wrong." and he's right. here's a case study. we were told by the u.s. geological survey in the 1990s there was about 150 million barrels of recoverable oil in north dakota. and this was the period when the liberals told us we're about to run out, we have peak oil, we're now going to decay, we have no future. well, new drilling technology came along, and we're now told that, in fact, as of this last
week, they believe there are 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil in north dakota, alone. now, that made me feel like i had to change my speech because up until last week, i had been saying there was 25 times as much oil as they thought. now turns out the current estimate is there are 160 times, 16,000% more oil in north dakota than they thought there was in the 1990s, and some experts believe that number is off by a huge margin that future technology will ultimately lead us to find about 500 billion barrels of oil. now, i'm not trying to fill you up with numbers. i'm trying to make a point about a general direction. an american president who believed in energy and an american president who believed in science and technology would drive the price of gasoline below $2.50, would eliminate our dependence on the middle east and we would never, ever again
bow to a saudi king. so you have my promise. at a time when i hope this evening we have ended any news media talk of the inevitability of their hand-picked candidate. at a time when we can forget about trying to nominate a massachusetts moderate and start talking about when the primaries are over and it's clear no one person has won, who would to a best job of representing america, governing, and winning the election against barack obama.
and let me just close with this observation, something that senator wagner had said earlier. really, i hope all of you will take to heart. and i'm very grateful, both in mississippi and in alabama. callista and i have had this wonderful relationships and friendships and my daughters, cathie and jackie, and jackie's husband, jimmy, we've all had a terrific time here. jimmy's already gotten out of ray scott a commitment to go bass fishing and i think ray has indicated he thought he could get jimmy a fairly good afternoon of bass. i mean, from jimmy's standpoint, this is already a great, successful evening. but we've all been out campaigning. we've all had a wonderful response. we're all very, very grateful. i want to tell you just a second what will become a challenge, we'll have three or four days of the news media and they'll say why doesn't gingrich dwquit? these are the same people who said last june i was dead. they recycle this every six weeks. the biggest challenge is raising money because we came in second
which isn't as much as we wanted. we will have gotten delegates. between santorum and myself, we'll get over two-nirthirds ofe delegate and the so-called front-runner will get less than one-third of the delegates. they'll have all this talk. the person who gives me hope and makes me stay in this race and makes me committed to carrying ideas all the way to tampa is samuel samford. samuel samford is an unemployed person who decided after hearing my speech either on c-span or on the internet that he really liked what i was trying to on gasoline and we talk about the fact you can go to newt.org and you can give one gallon of newt gas. that's $2.50. and so samuel heard the speech the other day and he when online and he gave $2.50. and he became number 175,000 donors. now, romney has all these wall street millionaires, many of whom frankly are using the money
you sent them as a taxpayer to buy ads to attack people. he's got the money. we're not going to compete with romney for money. he doesn't have people. we have 175,000 donors. over 90% of them, 95% have given less than $250. he was number 175,000, i called samuel samford and it was actually a very humbling call. i got him in the afternoon after he'd come home from his cancer treatment. he's currently unemployed. he took out of his savings the $250. because he wants to be part of helping save america. now, that to me was such a humbling conversation, the dedication he thhad to america, his commitment to a people's campaign, his unwillingness to give up and let the millionaires roll over meant an immense amount to callista and me. with your help, talk to your
friends and neighbors, go back on facebook, if you'll twitter, if you'll use e-mail, we'll continue to run a people's campaign. i believe after the primaries are over, it will be obvious that the so-called front-runner, in fact, didn't get there, and from that point on, we'll be in a whole new conversation. thank you, good luck, and god bless you. ♪ when it comes crashing down >> that was newt gingrich addressing his supporters in birmingham, alabama. it looks like he will finish second in both primaries tonight. alabama and mmississippi. no doubt a disappointing night for him. shoots all kinds of holes in his southern strategy. it was also a disappointing night for mitt romney who will finish third in both of those races. as for rick santorum, he picks up delegates and a lot of real estate tonight. and earlier, within the last hour, he took some shots at mitt romney. >> people have said, you know, you're being outspent and, you know, everybody's talking about all the math and all the things
that this race is inevitable. well, for someone who thinks this race is inevitable, he spent a whole lot of money against me for being inevitable. >> joining me tonight are chris matthews, host of" hardball," also with us on a special edition of "the ed show," reverend al sharpton of "politics nation" and rachel maddow, host of "the rachel maddow show." rachel, this is the night rick santorum needed a eed and it's e got. this is a northern who lost by 18 points in his last senate race, going down south deep in the heart of dixie and picking up two big wins over a guy who won georgia and south carolina. how big is it? >> that's right. this whole, i think, beseen sort of in the beltway or at first glance is a big defeat of rick santorum over mitt romney. this is a big defeat of newt
gingrich by rick santorum. going down south, theying this is your strategy, your justification for staying in the race, you can win in places like this and i can't. look where i beat you, i beat you in the place you're supposed to be strongest. this makes it hard to understand how newt gingrich stays in the race. you saw that with his pitiful stretch in his speech talking about how him and rick stantoru won a big majority and together one two-thirds of the delegates. >> is there a restaurant in tampa he wants to go visit? is that what -- this is unbelievable. chris matthews with us. chris, romney's spokesman tonight said they're concerned with delegates, not with wins. >> yeah, well -- >> this has got to hurt tonight. i also think that this really makes the case for santorum to go out to republican supporters and say, you know what, romney can't win in the south, i can. what about that? >> well, the latest polling we've got shows that they'll do just about as well against president obama. there's not a big difference in they're both just about the margin of error there.
a slight underdogs. both of them. you know, i just got an e-mail from jim messina from the obama camp. it's one of the mass mailings they put out. came out at 10:23 tonight saying, beware, we're running behind romney right now in the latest polling. better send in your 3 bucks. well, at the very moment the obama campaign is paying attention to the fact that gas prices at least are at the moment endangering their re-election, the republicans are saying, oh, yeah, we don't really like this so-called front-runner. just quickly, these are the people that voted for santorum in alabama. i believe in mississippi. women, college grads, people make under 50k. people who make under 100k. young people in their 20s. they're very conservative. people who say their religion is important to who they vote for. strong antiabortion people. people who trust moral character of their candidates. and people who believe romney is not conservative enough. >> yeah. >> i think this is getting -- i think he's getting a rejection
from the conservative republicans. i think -- here's something really strange i'll be watching. the most conservative of the catholic archbishops, most conservative cardinal in the country, most outspoken on the social issues we argue about is in chicago. archbishop cardinal george. watch him. he's been fiery on the issues -- >> do you think he thinks santorum has a shot in illinois? >> i think he may something with his congregation and parishioners in the huge archdiocese of illinois this weekend to help santorum. i hope he hears me. i hope he doesn't do it, but i think he's thinking about it because he is hard right on these issues. santorum is hard right. this could be the final test for the ability of the more sectarian people to voice themselves. this is going it be fascinating in chicago to watch the politics next tuesday. >> lot after catholics in illinois, no doubt. let's get back to alabama.
reverend, you know, have just spent time in alabama. these were the key voting groups for rick santorum. 49% of working women, 42% of under 40-year-olds. 41% who consider themselves very conservative. 40% with income under $30,000. what do you make of mitt romney not being able to connect with any of these voters down there? i mean, does this really exclude him in many republican circles? >> i think it does. i think that he was very, very badly wounded tonight. mitt romney. i think that newt gingrich was devastated. i think that what rick santorum did tonight was give anybody that had a doubt he should be the conservative against romney ammunition to just dismiss gingrich. gingrich is basically finished. romney has got a serious problem because the one thing that i think rachel referred to, the overreach by newt gingrich in saying he and santorum together
has all these delegates, the fact is that overwhelming majority of people voted against romney. and if you combine that gingrich vote and most of it would fall into santorum, this spells a slow walk toward the end of mitt romney if it keeps going this way. if he pulls out illinois, you're looking at a serious shot at a brokered convention. >> rachel, what is romney's best strategy right now? i mean, he goes home tonight with his tail between his legs. he's going to have both these candidates saying, you can't win in the south, and that is going to be a big issue with a lot of southern conservatives because they want a winner. you saw the polling today. they want somebody that can beat president obama. where does romney go from here other than wall street? >> romney goes to his phone and fwoez to the "a" section in the contacts list and dials sheldon adelson and tells adelson whatever adelson needs to hear to keep newt gingrich funded and keep him in the race. because that's what romney has to count on right now. romney can win the nomination without the south. because the south is going to
vote for whoever the republican nominee is in the general election no doubt about it. but he can't win the nomination necessarily if rick santorum keeps beating him places where romney's supposed to win. >> is it that the best narrative for santorum right now? because he can say, look, i don't think romney can beat president obama in florida, virginia, or maybe north carolina. we got to have a candidate that's going to be able to go out and really win the south and romney can't do it. it would seem to me this is somewhat of a turning point for santorum tonight. he can develop the narrative working against mitt romney. >> i honestly think, big picture, nobody can look at rick santorum and think, yeah, you're the electable guy. you can make it in a transactional way in a night like this. >> we like doing that. >> i know we do. >> i agree with rachel. i think that santorum may be the guy to usher us, as i said, to a brokered convention where somebody else that appears more electable can emerge. santorum may be the guy to clear
the field for whoever it is. plus, let's look at the last time santorum had a good night. he finds a way to mess it up. >> he does. he can't help himself. he's going to say something. chris matthews, al sharpton, rachel maddow. thanks for staying with us. we'll be back with a panel in just a moment. also coming up, nbc's chuck todd will go over the numbers coming out of alabama and mississippi. later, karen finney, eugene robinson and richard wolffe, on what's shaping up to be a great night for rick santorum and not a great night for mitt romney. you're watching live election coverage of "the ed show" on msnbc.
you're watching special election coverage on msnbc. big night for rick santorum, winning both alabama and mississippi. it was an ugly night for newt gingrich and mitt romney. next i'll ask chris matthews, rachel maddow, also reverend al sharpton what this means for president obama. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc.
welcome back to special coverage of the mississippi and alabama primaries on "the ed show" on msnbc. rick santorum has won the alabama primary. according to nbc news. and nbc news also called mississippi for the former pennsylvania senator, rick santorum. i'm joined a bverend al sharpton, and rachel maddow. i want to talk about illinois for just a second. chris, there's a lot of guys that go to work with lunch buckets in illinois. if rick santorum ever had a chance to make a play for that wage earner, this is the perfect time to do it, is it not? i mean, if he can wrestle those away from mitt romney, could he
make some waves in illinois? >> it's when you talk about what i talk about. it's this concern for the middle class. although, you know, you can talk about progressive politics being all in the democratic party, but there is a populist element within the republican party we're going to hear from. they're the people that make less than $50,000 a year and vote republican. the cloth-coat republicans we used to call them. these people do go to work in the morning. some of them are union members, as you know better than i. some are in organized labor, some identify with cultural issues, they're more conservative. they get to vote late. they get to work early, catch the early bus or the early subway or the "l" and come home around 5:00. they're tired. key for democrats to get them to stop on the way home and vote. teddy white years ago in the kennedy race said this country's republican until about 6:30 at night then it turns democrat if it does. sometime around 6:30 when the women come home more than they did in those days from workplaces, not just in the home, and vote democrat. if they vote populist republican next tuesday, we know what's
going to happen. it's called in our business, the third wave, the third wave that comes in from the exit polls. my hunch is your hunch. there are so many working class suburbs, not rich suburbs, working class areas around chicago. and we just know the image of chicago. and there's a lot of people there that may vote republican. they don't like the old machine politics. there's a lot of reasons to be republican that aren't necessarily right wing. we're going to see whether santorum -- by the way, he has a good name. he's got a name. santorum's a good name if you're running with that crowd. >> rachel, santorum says he's going to win the nomination before the convention. how's that possible? >> i don't think that's possible, but i think it's possible that the nomination fight does go all the way to the convention. i mean, these were not -- big picture, these were not must-win states for mitt romney. these were must-win states for newt gingrich. the real question, the big important dynamic is not how mitt romney handles the lost. he has to explain how he predicted yesterday he was going to win alabama and outspent santorum by tons in alabama and
mississippi and still lost. he was trying. he also had seeded some doubt ahead of time. saying it was an away game, making fun of himself for not knowing anything about the south and being a harvard educated boston guy. these were not must-wins for him. the mitt romney response is not as important as the newt gingrich response which will change the overall dynamic here. it's hard to see what newt gingrich is going to do. he's an unpredictable maverick character. i don't think there's a justifiable reason for him to stay. he might stay and that ruins everything for rick santorum. >> reverend al, are any newt voters going to go to mitt romney? >> i don't think many will. i think newt voters would go to large part to santorum. i think that the problem -- i agree these were not must-wins for mitt romney, but he also did not need to lose and certainly didn't need to come in third place. i think his problem is that he is perceived as a rich detached guy. i was born and raised in brooklyn. my mother's from alabama. i learned before i was 6, you
don't fake the grits. you don't fake the grits. when you go down south, if you're a northerner, don't fake. because they look at you like you're in some way looking down at them. >> he's trying so hard. >> trying too hard. >> that is it. the genuine alty of the whole thing, i hate to use this word, but it's phony. it's not the real deal on the stump off the cuff. it's one campaign stop after another. he can't help himself in that regard. on the other hand, santorum eventually will continue to trip himself up because he gets so extreme on issues. he's good on nights like this. he's pretty disciplined and winging it and knows he's winging it. he doesn't want to get too far outside of bounds. he has the cameras on him. this is the interesting dynamic i think that's playing out for mitt romney, he's got some talking to do right now. mitt romney has got to make the narrative, i'm not as bad in the south as you think i am. you know, i can get somebody on the ticket that will carry the south and we can beat president obama there.
i think romney has to start talking about beating president obama and how this is all going to work out. now, chris matthews, reverend al sharpton, and rachel maddow, we run out of time too fast. don't we? >> i know. >> great to have both of you with us tonight. all of you. thank you. coming up, chuck todd will tell us what went wrong with newt gingrich and mitt romney. and later, richard wolffe, eugene robinson and karen finney are here with their take on tonight's results. you're watching "the ed show," special coverage from alabama and mississippi, the primary coverage tonight here on msnbc.
welcome back to special republican primary election coverage here on "the ed show" on msnbc. rick santorum is the projected winner in alabama, despite newt gingrich's efforts to win another southern state. santorum is the projected winner in mississippi and he has, therefore, taken both of these southern states tonight. and where does this leave mitt romney? let's turn to nbc news political director chuck todd. chuck? the delegate count. where are we tonight? what does tonight mean? >> well, let's do that first. all right. i'll go there. that is simply -- i've been doing back of the envelope math. we have two more contests tonight. right. we have american samoa. in the islands, territories in the pacific, there are large mormon populations out there. if you watch college basketball,
you know this if you watch a lot of byu games. there's mormon popularity that's been helpful to romney. if he sweeps american samoa, that's nine delegates. right now we're estimating 27 delegates out of alabama and mississippi total for santorum. we've got it looks like 21 out of alabama and mississippi for romney. throw in the nine there, then it's 37, 30. then hawaii. so anywhere, the best-case scenario for santorum is he will net all of five or six delegates total on mitt romney tonight. so he's got all of this perception victory, but on the delegate count, and you're going to hear a lot of this from the romney folks, because of what's going on in the pacific, he is actually going to -- the amount of delegates that santorum nets in trying to catch up -- and, remember, we has to win some 65% of remaining delegates left in order to get to 1,144. he's going to net four or five. he doesn't really move his percentage. that's the problem. look, this was about perception.
i want to go over a few exit poll numbers. here's all you really need to know. this is the perception of romney on ideology. look at that. half the voters both in alabama and mississippi just believe mitt romney wasn't conservative enough. right? look at these. about right, 27%, what was mitt romney's percentage in alabama? 28%. 34% in mississippi. guess what? we know these exit poll numbers were a little bit tilted toward romney. when we reweight the actual vote, bet you that dials down a little bit. look at santorum ideology, 53% essentially, 53% in alabama, 49% in mississippi call him about right. and look at gingrich. 51% and 56% call him about right. so the bottom line is, guess what, we knew this before tonight, ed, and we knew it going -- we now know it again which is mitt romney doesn't ideologically fit the south. what we don't understand is, you know, does the romney campaign regret sort of playing into the narrative of saying, okay, let's try to do this, let's see if we can win one state and instead they give santorum this
perception victory out of a night where delegate-wise, it's going to be close to watch. here's another number you need to know. this is how much money team romney has already spent, put on the air in the state of illinois. add it up together. it's pretty easy here. $3.2 million. i can put up a number if you want for how much money santorum has in illinois. let me put it up here very carefully. there it is. zero. nothing yet. >> so we're going to find out what the image business out of the south means for rick santorum real soon. >> he's got zip on there. one thing to keep in mind on illinois, i want to jump in on that last section. >> sure. >> in 2010 in the republican gubernatorial primary there, bill brady won it basically by being the conservative tea party candidate. if you recall, there was a state senator named kirk dillard who was the establishment republican guy but he got dinged because he appeared in a television ad for a guy named barack obama and
that ended up costing him in that primary. but there was a conservative boone, if you will, in the primary there. so that's something to watch for. it is a little more of a conservative electorate than the mark kirks of the world who's a moderate republican u.s. senator today. >> we're going to find out how much rick santorum knows about business. i had a business executive tell me one time, you can't beat pr, you can't eat pr, you have to make the numbers work sooner or later. what -- i want to ask you, chuck, what is going to be mitt romney's strategy when it comes to message in illinois? the numbers that you just put up, undeniable. he's all over the advertising. but what does he have to do in illinois to make sure he wins that state? >> well, i think, and what's interesting, as you see, he's putting up some of his own money now. before they left it all to the super pac. the super pac does the negative ads, all of the santorum is not electable and santorum is not a real conservative, he's a washington guy, former lobbyist. they're going to continue on
that messaging. what you're going to see romney do, they seem to need to have a positive message, talk about their plan, talk a little bit more about what they want to do on the tax front. try to do, frankly, what he did a little bit more of in michigan when he had some positive. i think we've learned, you can't be all negative here. >> yeah. >> in takes a toll on you. i think this has taken a toll on romney. >> chuck, i can't let you go, because i got to hear what you think of what newt gingrich said tonight. i mean, he just will not get out of this. and his strategy was to win another southern state and develop that southern strategy. it failed. he just won't go away. your thoughts on the way he's handling this? >> well, i have to show you something. i sort of love this. let me put up the newt gingrich winners board map here. there it is. it's kind of cool we have this toy. i want to -- i like to show it off. there it is. those are the two states. let's see. florida, loss. that touches georgia. alabama, loss.
that touches georgia. tennessee, loss. that touches georgia. he's won in three in states that touch georgia. we're not even talking about the rest of the deep south. so he is right now, look, it is tough. what are the different levels of -- when you're in mourning or in grief or whatever it is? he's in the different stages at this point. obviously he's not at acceptance yet. >> there's some denial going on. no doubt. >> maybe that comes tomorrow morning when he wakes up and realizes that all of us have passed him by and we're all talking about santorum. here's one other thing, ed. santorum was outspent by gingrich in both mississippi and alabama. >> yep. chuck todd, great to have you with us tonight. thank you. >> all right. see you. when we return, karen finney, eugene robinson, and richard wolffe on a big night for rick santorum. you're watching special election coverage here on msnbc. we're right back.
this is a live edition of "the ed show." well, hurricane rick came in from the north and took alabama and mississippi tonight. by a storm. conservative voters came out in droves for this man who lost his last federal election and that, of course, was the senate race in pennsylvania. the reclamation project of rick santorum continues to pick up real estate, this time deep in the heart of dixie. i'm joined tonight by msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director, karen finney, msnbc political analyst and "washington post" associate editor, eugene robinson, and political analyst for msnbc, richard wolffe. great to have all of you with us tonight. well, how damaging for the hurricane santorum winds to mitt romney's campaign tonight, richard, what do you think? >> well, really damaging. not just because obviously it's always bad to lose, but what it means moving forward, yes, we
know it's going to be protracted. it was going to be protracted really from iowa onwards, but what mitt romney has to do now, not just to regain the initiative, but to clinch the magic number of delegates means an endless round of buying off conservative voters and probably conservative delegates. he's got to get these other candidates, not just to drop out of the race, but pull their delegates on his side. that's going to be more promises, more extremism and a short and shorter leash for the kind of politician we expect mitt romney really is. >> karen, what happened to mitt romney tonight? >> well, he -- you know, i actually think he had a better night than most people do because nobody really thought he was going to win despite what he was saying. he needed to be able to show he could, you know, not come in about where ron paul came in. the argument he wants to be able to make is, it's about the math, the math is on my side. and i wouldn't be surprised if you don't start hearing rumblings of perhaps someone who would appeal to the south as a vp.
>> here's rick santorum. here's what he had to say earlier this evening when he got the news. >> we will compete everywhere. the time is now for conservatives to pull together. the time is now to make sure, to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election, and the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against barack obama, who can take him on on every issue. >> eugene robinson, what does this night mean for rick santorum? the math, as chuck todd told us in our last segment, really doesn't knock anything out of the park for santorum, but in the image business, he wins big. >> yeah, it's a great night for rick santorum. he, i mean, it would be an even better night if newt gingrich in his speech had announced he was pulling out of the race. that would have been a really great night for rick santorum. he won in the south. he's not from the south. he's from pennsylvania. as you mentioned, lost his last election there. he -- and now clearly he is the
alternative to mitt romney, who theoretically could actually beat mitt romney. i think newt gingrich, even if he continues his campaign, has become a kind of a cause candidate. his cause is vision, i guess, as he outlined it tonight. much like ron paul's cause is libertarianism and austrian economics. you saw what ron paul did tonight. he, you know, 4% in one state, 6% in the other. and i wonder if gingrich doesn't sort of bump down to those levels. >> richard, is he just in denial? newt gingrich tonight? >> well, he's running on newt gas, all the fumes thereof. you know, he's running, i think, to try and have some leverage, either at the convention or for that vp slot. as i mentioned a couple of hours ago. so, yes, he wants to be a thought leader and advance interesting ideas. more than that, you get leverage by hoping that mitt romney doesn't make it to the magic number in your delegates.
even 100 here or there will make a difference and get you a better job in a romney administration. >> richard, do you think somebody would put newt gingrich on their ticket? he's one of the most unpopular politicians in america. wouldn't that be somewhat of a gamble? >> i think everything mitt romney does now is a gamble. he has to get to the magic number. you asked me what did newt think? why is he still in the race? not whether he's successfully read mitt romney's strategy. >> here is gingrich earlier tonight. here it is. >> the fact is, in both states, the conservative candidates got nearly 70% of the vote, and if you're the front-runner -- if you're the front-runner and keep coming in third, you're not much of a front-runner. >> is he dreaming? >> he is dreaming, but, you know, i'd like to visit that dreamland, because he has such a perfect sort of psychosis about who he is and what his role in the race is. i mean, here's the thing, as chuck pointed out so beautifully, he won georgia, okay, but he couldn't even win the states neighboring georgia,
right? that was part of his whole argument about his southern strategy. >> gene robinson, what is rick santorum's strategy going forward here? i mean, does he have to be a major player? you saw chuck todd saying he hasn't spent any money in illinois yet. where's he go from here? >> i think he has to be competitive basically everywhere. he's got to go to illinois and he's got to give romney a run. as best he can. and he will have a certain amount of momentum. i mean, you know, santorum, boy, i remember when he was driving himself from state to state, because he had zero money. still doesn't have much money. but it is remarkable what he's managed to do with a shoe string campaign. >> the three of you, i ask you to stay with us. karen finney, eugene robinson and also richard wolffe. here is a number for you from tonight's exit poll in mississippi. rick santorum took 49% of the working women vote. the panel weighs in on that number next. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc.
welcome back to special republican primary election coverage here on msnbc. "the ed show." rick santorum winning both alabama and mississippi tonight. and he wins with working women in alabama. i am joined again by msnbc political analysts karen finney, eugene robinson, and richard wolffe. santorum did particularly well
in alabama among working women. even after sending out a mailer with a quote from rush limbaugh. karen, you were in alabama. can you explain this one? >> you know, i'm stunned. the only explanation that i can come up with is, and i think this would be a question i'd want to go back and ask these women, for these women, did race or in other words conservative values, that's the code, right, trump gender? you know, it's still a very conservative state. the racial issues are alive and well in alabama and mississippi. remember those polls that we saw where large percentages don't believe in interracial marriage and think the president is a muslim. so clearly there is some sort of racial stuff in there, and i wonder if that ultimately for white working women trumped their own gender issues. >> eugene robinson, i'd be curious to know if rick santorum wants to use rush limbaugh anywhere else around the country other than alabama and mississippi. what do you think? >> i kind of doubt it, ed.
my theory i guess on why he did so well with working class women, those women might have decided that mitt romney was not a genuine conservative, right, because that's what alabamians and mississippians generally decided. >> but limbaugh? >> well, but -- but newt gingrich? is he the alternative? and he is deeply unpopular among many segments of the american population. and i wonder if women looking at his personal life, looking at him, decided, you know, this is not the guy we're going to vote for. >> you know, richard, i have to think that maybe a campaign staffer had made a mistake about putting that limbaugh quote in there. do you think santorum really signed off on that after all limbaugh's been through and been in the news with women? >> guys, this is a republican primary. >> that's true. i forgot. doggone-it, where am i at? >> rush limbaugh has an audience though we think he should be
losing it. where you are talking about a situation where democrats have a, what, 15, 20-point advantage over republicans among women voters, that still leaves 30% of women who are still with republicans in spite of all the public positions they're taking. santorum -- women voters, with all due respect, women voters don't just vote as women. they vote as conservatives. they vote as christians. and rick santorum is a great fit. if you are a christian conservative who is also a woman, and maybe you don't actually care for the other side of the rush limbaugh debate, and rick santorum is your family values guy. >> or if you're a woman who buys -- remember, this was all a plot from the democrats, ed. so if you're a woman, a white working class woman in one of the states and you buy that, one thing i thought was interesting in santorum's speech, did you notice how many times he mentioned his wife? over and over and over. clearly he shifted his rhetoric a little bit. we don't know what he's been saying on the stump in smaller venues in alabama and
mississippi. i'm sure his wife has been at his side trying to make up for -- there was the whole thing about, oh, my wife told me i misspoke and all that folksy stuff. that may a appealed to women and made them think he's not so bad. >> mitt romney alluded to early in the week he was playing on the road, he was a no show tonight. here's mitt romney in missouri earlier today. >> of course you get rid of obama-care. that's the easy one. there are others. planned parenthood. we're going to get rid of that. >> eugene robinson, why didn't he show up tonight? what is the strategy not to be seen anywhere? >> well, because he must have worried that he was going to lose, and he didn't want to be in the position of being in one of those states and having to give a concession speech and having to stand up there, having finished third. i mean, he is supposed to be the presumptive nominee and it is kind of embarrassing to finish in third place in two states in the heart, in the republican
heartland. that clip was interesting, though, because, of course, you know, there's a clip of him donating to planned parenthood and he invented obama-care before obama did. but never mind. >> richard wolffe, i want to talk about illinois now. moving forward. if rick santorum had not had a rough week, talking about social issues, he probably would have done a better job in ohio. ohio and illinois, i think, demographically and structurally, politically, are very much the same. what does santorum have to do to get things going in illinois and could he take it away from romney? >> yeah, with a big downstate operation he could. downstate illinois is -- you know, it's huckleberry finn territory. the suburban votes around chicago versus the downstate vote. and right now rick santorum is heavily outspent. i don't think he's up on the air right now. he's already getting beaten to a
pulp. he has to get the enthusiasm going and hope that the romney vote just stays away in the suburbs around chicago and that kind of combination works for him. >> karen, what do you think about that? >> i think that's exactly right. it means illinois isn't going to tell us much more of anything. that's the pattern we've seen. we've seen that. that's where mitt romney's strength is. we're seeing the emerging strength of rick santorum which shows, again, this party very fractured, two polar opposites and the voters, themselves, in the republican party have not decided which way they want to go. >> karen, eugene, and richard, stay with us. please do that. we're right back with more coverage coming up. up next, my final thoughts on tonight's primaries in alabama and mississippi. you're watching special coverage here on msnbc. we're back.
welcome back to "the ed show." the hurricane called rick comes in from the north and wins mississippi and alabama tonight. we're only half way through. we have a long way to go, folks, in the republican primary season. citizens united basically has given us three things. big egos, big money, and campaigns that probably should have turned out the lights a long time ago. if you love politics, you got to love it all.
it's a long season. and with no money, just heart and desire and real soul, rick santorum is scaring the living bejesus out of mitt romney. romney in new york tonight raising more money hoping that he can turn this around for the umpteenth time in illinois in the coming week. but the bottom line is, there's something real about santorum that conservatives are gravitating to that's just not very real about mitt romney. as for the former speaker, newt gingrich, he's almost getting to the point where he's going to embarrass himself. and he refers to the media a lot who doesn't give him a chance. i'll get in that crowd. i don't think newt gingrich has a chance. after tonight, it's borderline embarrassing for him to stay in the race. it's going to be interesting, as we move forward. i still think santorum is going to have a big, big place in the republican party because he is